Sweeping the Reds

There is nothing more exciting and invigorating than a sweep!  Many are saying that sweeping one of the worst teams in baseball isn’t that big a deal but remember, the Dodgers seem to tank when playing the not-so-good teams..case in point the Padres over the weekend.   Getting the sweep gives the Dodgers momentum when meeting the tough teams coming up.  They will begin a 3 game series with the Mets over the weekend.
I was given the opportunity to be on the field on Wednesday, the last game of the homestand.  I’m always excited about it.  When I got up to suite level to meet the reps, I saw the Dodgers doing their drills.  The view of Dodger Stadium is breathtaking from higher up.

I’m not used to seeing batting practice from this high up.  It’s a different perspective for sure.
I zeroed in on Maeda and Kershaw 
The Dodger pitchers were doing a drill from the mound.
We were finally escorted down to the field.  My main objective was to get a picture with Kenta Maeda.  It’s not an easy task, especially since he doesn’t speak English and his translator doesn’t usually relay such messages to him.  It is impossible unless you are on the field and even then it could be difficult.  My friend Robert collects batting gloves so that was his objective.  He wanted Corey’s and had already been promised some from Ivan deJesus from the Reds.

I got a picture with Dave Roberts first.  It’s tricky getting a good picture with the shadows.  The guys are always wearing their caps so it shades their faces.  Mike Bolsinger ran by but stopped long enough to give me a big surprise hug.  I told him that I had been wearing his jersey yesterday for good luck and he said that he noticed.  He then ran out to batting practice.  His time might be limited depending on when Ryu returns.  Ryu is rehabbing already and has been making good progress.  Ross Stripling apparently was sent to minors because his pitch count is limited due to his recent Tommy John surgery.  I wondered why he was sent down and Mike brought back up.  Luis Avilan as I suspected was used to complement Mike’s limited pitch count of 80.  Mike is coming back from an oblique strain.

The view of batting practice is a little different when you are on the field.  They park us in front of the dugout.  I took the above pictures with my iPhone so the quality isn’t as good for the distant shots.

I was wearing my Trayce shirt so I of course pointed it out to him.  He stopped and asked me if I had it made and I said yes, that it was one of a kind.  He seemed pleased.  He took a picture with me and ran off quickly.  There was a family from Bakersfield on the field.  I would guess the son with them was a someone they wanted to sign when he got old enough.  They were a bit obnoxious asking every player for autographs and pictures including Kershaw whom I consider someone you leave alone.  They also bothered AJ and Adrian who usually don’t sign.  When they stopped I figured that this family was someone they wanted to treat well for some reason.  Trayce didn’t stop for them.

I never pass up an opportunity to take a pic with Corey Seager.   I was surprised how tall he is.  I’m 5′ 1″ so he must be 5’100.” He also signed a ball for me.  I was trying to get a couple of autographs for a co-worker who is celebrating a birthday.

The autograph on top is Corey’s and the bottom one is Kike’s whose autograph is a very difficult one to get.  The ball is from a recent batting practice so it has some Dodger dirt and grass stains on it.

Of course my main objective was Maeda.  His translator Will is not very friendly.  He’s very focused on doing nothing but to be Maeda’s everything.  I tried to get his attention pointing to my phone.  I finally talked to Maeda myself telling him “picture please” in Japanese.    He smiled and nodded but the family from Bakersfield of course accosted him first and made him take pictures with them.  I think it is difficult for him since he doesn’t speak English.  He looked a little bewildered but took several pictures with them.  They told me he was giving them a bat.  That’s weird since he doesn’t bat much.  I never saw a bat so maybe something had been lost in translation.  I was getting a little annoyed with them.  The only people who were on the field were Robert and I plus this family who were a little aggressive about the pictures and autographs.  I think the players were told to treat these people nicely because of the son.

I finally got the picture I wanted.  It’s a little dark so maybe in the future I can try again.  I look nervous which I definitely was.  

Robert and I went to the enemy side after that since all the Dodger players had gone into the clubhouse for a meeting.  Most of them who were taking batting practice went in through the tunnel maybe to avoid signing autographs.  Smart guys.  I didn’t mind.  You do what you gotta do.  The Reds were stretching and working out.  I don’t know any of the players on the Reds so I just watched them. Robert was promised batting gloves by Ivan deJesus, a former Dodger.  That was our goal since we had no clue who was on the team.  The only player I knew about was Joey Votto and I wasn’t even sure what he looked like.  We met a very nice family who was visiting from Goodyear AZ.  They live next door to Joey Votto and was invited by him to attend the Dodger-Reds game.  Super nice of him.
Here are K2 and K1 as they are known.  K1 is 11 and K2 is almost 9.  How exciting to be invited to a game by a MLB player!!
Here are more pictures from the enemy side.

We found out that this is Joey Votto.  He was speaking at length with someone who might have been his agent.  I guess that because the person was very long winded.  I thought it might be nice to get a picture with him.  Robert wanted a ball signed.  He finished talking to his agent and Robert accidentally misspoke and called him “Vito.”  Yikes, the players hate when you call them by the wrong name or when you call them by their number.  Joey answered with “You don’t even know who I am.”  I asked him for a picture calling him the right name.  He took a picture with me and signed Robert’s ball.

He was very nice.  I was worried because I was behind schedule.  I wanted to go up to the club and eat and we still had to go to the front gate to pick up our bobble heads.  There weren’t that many fans in the stands yet so I didn’t think they would run out.  Robert wanted to wait for those batting gloves from Ivan deJesus.  It took forever but he finally brought them over.  Unfortunately he brought some brand new black and white ones.  He had been using a nice gold, black and white pair which he didn’t give up.  We finally left the field.  I picked up my bobble head next skirting the long line and security since I had already been through another line.

I’m not sure if the bobble head looks like him.  The bobble heads seldom look like the player anyway.
I went up to the club.   I asked my friend Crystal to get my food since I thought it would be crowded.  She did a bang up job as you can see.  Nice presentation. I gobbled things down because I was behind schedule.  Most of it I had to take to the seat with me.  I ate most of the salad.  It was delicious.

My best buddies at the stadium

I hurried to my special spot by the field.  Robert had saved my place as a favor to me.  There was a back pack belonging to someone I know sitting on the step where I usually stand.  Do people think this is grade school where you can save your place by leaving your lunch box?  I stood on the other side of the gate.  I should have kicked it aside since she never came to claim it until right before the game.  I mean, really??    Yaz was already on the field.  The starting pitcher was Scott Kazmir who usually comes out of the bullpen to work out on the field.  They have been using the tunnel rather than the field lately.
Kazmir did some stretching and then went into the bullpen to warm up.
Chase as usual was the first one out to stretch.
And then Trayce.  There were two girls who were excited about him.  He never looked our way.  I’m lucky to have gotten a picture with him since he rarely comes to the side to sign.  
Joc came out next….uh yeah, hi Joc.
And then Corey who was wearing his hat perched on top of his head.  It almost looked like the cap didn’t fit.
All eyes were still on Trayce.  He thought something was funny.
Carl was signing in the dugout.  Fans were tossing balls and objects to him.
Corey likes using the stretchy bands

Time for the National Anthem
Always someone looking at me..Bob Geren this time.
A good view of Mike’s haircut and no beard look.  I think I liked him the other way.
Pre game catch with Kike and Justin
A quick check of the dugout using the spy cam.
And then Yaz and Scott made their way down the field.  Note the nail polish on Yaz’s fingernails.  Nice color.
Each was in his own world.
Corey was the only one to sign.  I see my friend Pat got his autograph.
The umpires.  They seem to be waving to the enemy crowd.  Not a good sign.
First pitch.  It was a good game for Scott.  He had 12 strikeouts and only gave up one run through 6 innings when he was taken out because of his pitch count.  Statistics show that after 90 pitches, he doesn’t do well.    It’s only the third time in his career that he has had 12 or more strikeouts.
Dan Straily, the Reds pitcher gave up 3 runs over 7 innings but was the losing pitcher even with 11 strikeouts.
There was no score until the 4th inning when Jay Bruce tripled scoring Brandon Phillips. 0-1.  We didn’t have to lament that one run very long.

Because in the bottom of the 4th inning, Joc singled Chase Utley and Justin Turner in.  2-1.

In the next inning Yaz hit a solo homerun.

The score was then 3-1 where it would remain to be the final score.  The Dodgers’ offense has come alive.

Can’t forget to mention the delicious in-seat salad.  Thank you Crystal.

Or the celebration ice cream

Look at this Corey Seager swing.  It hurts just watching.
I have to share this picture of Joey Votto since he was nice before the game.  Too bad he’s on such a bad team.
The sunset was gorgeous over Dodger Stadium
They brought in Kenley Jansen to close the game.  He loves pitching and closing.  
The dugout was excited.  Clayton is interested in EVERY game.
We were all excited anticipating a sweep.  Look at the score.  
Everyone was ready for that last pitch.
And the Dodgers had swept the Reds with the final score of the 3rd game 3-1.
A good series for the Dodgers!!!  We all went home happy.  The Dodgers will finally have a day off after 20 days.  They will meet the Mets in New York on Friday to begin a 3 game series.  It will be a difficult series.  Alex Wood will meet Jacob deGrom on Friday.  Kenta Maeda will be pitching against Thor on Saturday.  Kershaw will be matching wits with Bartolo Colon on Sunday.  It should be exciting.  Actually news just broke that they are bringing Julio  Urias up for Friday’s matchup to replace Alex Wood because of forearm tenderness.  That will mix up the lineup a little.  I hope they aren’t sending Mike back down again.
I go back to work tonight.  It was a short homestand.  They will not return home unti June 3 when they meet the Braves.  Thanks for stopping by and thank you for all your support.  Talk to you soon.

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